Let it Go!

May 13, 2020

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then.. when you know better, do better." – Maya Angelou

I get better and better, and if I have it my way, I will keep getting better until the day I die. That’s what I want, that’s how I wish to leave this life – a semi-polished stone who made her way through the mud, grit, grindstone, fire, kicks, brokenness, and attempts to be shaped into what was deemed “correct” by some, but who never gave up and kept rolling along somewhat rough and dirty, and magnificent in her own sweet way.

While these experiences certainly added to the complexity of my story… being polished by a society that values perfection above truth, does not accurately demonstrate the earned scars, flaws, wisdom and unique preciousness of ME. I am not a diamond and never will be…that is truly okay with me. I am good being a diamond-in-the-rough or even just an interesting, unique rock in a forest or a backyard or fire pit somewhere….as long as I have the privilege of being the one and only me!

This redeeming quote by Maya Angelou inspires me to keep moving, keep learning and keep making an incredible difference in this life of mine by being the best of who I am, even as I am in the last trimester of my one and only life.

I am inspired to take responsibility for what I say, think and do…and even what I believe.

Yet, I am also given permission to forgive myself for saying, thinking, or doing something in the past…when I did not know better. It is not an excuse and it’s more difficult than you think because like most of us, I tend to be harder on myself than anyone else could be. However, many of the old beliefs are no longer acceptable. Actually, they never were…to me. Still, they were there…in the dark closets of my mind, occasionally opening the door to remind me they had not gone away.

I realize that I have been programmed to unconsciously believe untruths…and the truth is, I do not believe these lies anymore, and I have not, if ever, for a very long time. However, my brain still reacts quickly and inappropriately, because our society did such a good training job. It really is difficult deprogramming myself. My initial knee-jerk thoughts make me angry with myself, but then my improved, revised self, redirects my brain to what is true and right. This awareness with follow-up action triggers change… which is a great thing. I just wish it worked a little faster.

Life evolves. We learn…. if we choose to. Just because these things were considered “right” back then does not mean it is okay to think it…say it…or believe it…now.

I am learning that I am doing the best I can with what I have, what I know and where I am right now. I am learning to really take responsibility for what I believe and it’s not easy eliminating all that “old” stuff from who I am, but I am determined to do it, if it’s not true for me anymore.

This requires that I take continuous inventory of who I am and how I show up. I do not give myself the luxury of staying stagnate just because I am an older person. It does not work for me and it is not what I want for myself. This means that as I “unpack” my own beliefs I must decide if I believe them anymore, and if I do not, I MUST LET THEM GO. This sounds so easy but it’s not. Where did this deep-seated belief come from? Why do I believe it? Am I willing to adjust this belief, or do I choose to get rid of it, altogether?

It’s an ongoing process that I have analyzed and worked on for many years. Still, I catch myself thinking something that isn’t in alignment with who I am now, and I have to do a little detective work within to figure out where it’s coming from. Often it is from some childhood experience that left a mark on my brain and I internalized it as a belief. However, I often find I don’t believe it anymore. Time to take the trash out again, and I truly wish it were that easy.

I’m 60+ years old. I don’t spend a lot of time in the rocking chair watching TV like my 10-year-old brain thought I would. I choose to live and experience joy and connection while I’m still here. Jeez, I actually have learned a lot of things in this life! I have gained some wisdom. I know what my priorities are. I’m damn well going to enjoy my life…all of it! For me, that means that I must also do the work to keep my heart, thoughts, words and actions in alignment. And, in order to have these amazing experiences in my life, I have to be that person that can hold up my end of a good, solid relationship. I work hard to be the best person I can because I want these things -

• I wish to have genuine conversations with people I care about. I don’t want them to feel they cannot be who they truly are when they are with me because of their concern I will not approve.

• I want to open my mind and my heart to be that non-judgmental, curious person who can listen and provide loving feedback.

• I want to stay informed and curious about what’s happening in our world so I can participate in active, vibrant discussions.

• I want to engage in every moment fully and be present in it for what it is.

• I want to bravely work through my own baggage as it comes up and not live in its shadows.

• I want to face the challenges that arise for me and know that I am living my life fully.

• I want to live life bravely, learn, change and love with an open heart.

As you might understand, I have lost some people along the way because of my intensity and my strong value to be who I am…at the soul level. At first, it hurt a lot. Now, I understand that we’re on different roads, have different ideas, goals and values. However, I am looking. Seeking out others who are doing the same. I’m looking for that tribe of people who never stop learning, who wish to be the best version of themselves, and who understand that when it comes down to it, love is all there is.



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